In Pursuit of Relevance; AI Comes to Ebay

Ebay recently announced the acquisition of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analytics company Expertmaker, showing once again its interest in optimizing its structured data initiatives and product organization on the marketplace in pursuit of greater listing relevance. 

One component of eBay's strategy to drive the most relevance is its shift to be more product-based. With this initiative, which eBay calls structured data, the company is organizing its vast inventory in order to better aggregate insights into supply and demand. This structured data foundation will allow eBay to build better user experiences and improve discoverability. With 900 million listings at any given time, that's a pretty big job. 

There are three key efforts, according to Ebay, that comprise its structured data initiative: collect the data; process and enrich the data; and create product experiences. Expertmaker will contribute to data processing and enrichment, specifically with respect to product attribute normalization.

"Expertmaker is excited to join the eBay team, bringing innovative artificial intelligence, machine learning and large-scale optimization technology to eBay's structured data initiative," said Lars Hard, Founder and CEO of Expertmaker. "In partnership with eBay, we will be able to transcend traditional machine learning approaches to create adaptive and learning solutions using the Expertmaker platform."

Expertmaker has been a partner of eBay's since 2010, most recently helping with eBay's structured data initiative. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.